(Pawtucket, RI) - Pawtucket starter Anthony Ranaudo earned his IL-leading 14th victory with six shutout innings while the offense used a pair of big innings to build a comfortable lead as the PawSox blanked the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 7-0, Tuesday night in front of 5,805 fans at McCoy Stadium to snap a four-game losing skid.
The PawSox scored four two-out runs in the third then three more tallies in the sixth, all against Lehigh Valley starter Jason Marquis (1-1). Ranaudo (14-4) scattered seven hits, all singles and walked only one while striking out four. He escaped a bases-loaded, no out jam in the fourth.
With the win, Pawtucket (72-59) remained 2.0 games ahead of Rochester in the IL wildcard standings with 13 games remaining, as the Red Wings defeated Buffalo in the opener of a crucial series in western New York.
Pawtucket batted around in the third, as six straight men reached base after Marquis retired the first two hitters in the frame. Travis Shaw was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to start the scoring, then Ryan Lavarnway worked a walk to double the lead to 2-0.
Garin Cecchini followed Lavarnway with a two-run single to left to cap the rally and make the score 4-0. Pawtucket picked up five hits in the sixth including a two-run double by Justin Henry. Marquis allowed nine hits and seven earned runs in 5.1 innings of work.
John Ely worked the final three innings behind Ranaudo and allowed no runs on three hits to earn his first save of the season. Lavarnway went 2-for-2 with two walks while Cecchini and Henry each recorded a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs.
Game two of the series is slated for a 7:05 pm first pitch on Wednesday night. The PawSox are slated to start right-hander Matt Barnes (6-8, 4.12) while the IronPigs will counter with veteran righty Brad Lincoln (6-9, 4.99).
Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com. Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.